Ya gerels :'(

Just found out that my old Arabic teacher from high school passed away yesterday in a car crash in Sudan. Tr. El-Fateh was definitely one of the nicest and funniest teachers I ever had. Even the way he carried himself was light and limber. I remember getting into all sorts of laughing fits in his Arabic class as me and Zah would write the most absurd Arabic essays (one I distinctly remember was one about going to the moon to get cheese) but Tr. Fateh always laughed along with us, encouragingly. The 2 years I studied Arabic with him was when I picked up most of my Arabic. More than the 5 years I spent in Al-Amin. So much more. He also taught me geography, and I remember learning about Burkina Faso, at the time it was the first time I had heard of this country. He was so approachable too, you’d never be afraid to just walk into his office and have a chat, or use his office phone, or just sit down. And if he met you in the hallways outside of class, there was this one phrase he used to say that was hilarious. He you’d say Ya girls! “ya” as in “wahai” in Arabic. but the way he pronounced girls, it became a 2-syllable word, ge-rels.

He was a teacher to some, neighbor to many, vice-principal to the school, and friend to all. Teachers, and humans like him are rare to find, and his parting is a loss to the world, but Insha’Allah he is in a better place.

May Allah forgive his sins, bestow his mercy upon his soul and grant him the highest paradise, Jannatul el firdaus. Our prayers are with him and his family.


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